By virtue of Northern Lebanon's 43-31 victory over Donegal and Elco's 46-42 victory at Manheim Central, the Vikings and Raiders continue to be separated by just one game in the battle for second place and the L-L playoff berth that goes with it. On the final regular-season night of action Tuesday, NL (14-7 overall, 11-4 L-L) travels to first-place Lampeter-Strasburg while Elco (13-8, 10-5) hosts last-place Donegal.
A Viking win, and they're in. But a Viking loss and an Elco victory means the two teams would finish in a dead heat in the standings, with Elco gaining the playoff berth since it beat Northern Lebanon twice this season.
Friday night, the injury-racked Vikings made a stand to stay a game up on Elco, welcoming back Mariah LiBrandi to the lineup after the senior guard missed Tuesday's loss to Elco with a foot injury.
LiBrandi was certainly a welcome addition, tying teammate Kristen Lessing for game-high scoring honors with 15 points and converting all six of her free throw attempts.
The big quarter for the Vikes was the second, in which they outscored the Indians 15-8 to take a 24-15 halftime lead.
Meanwhile, the Raiders kept pace behind 21 points and five 3-point buckets from junior guard Cheyenne Hassler, which helped it survive a 16-point fourth quarter by the Barons.
Sydnie Parker added nine points for the Raiders, and Victoria Sweatlock pitched in with eight.
Elsewhere Friday night:
The Cougars, who only beat Trinity (11-10, 9-6 Keystone Division) by six the first time the two teams played, made eight 3-pointers in the game, four of which came from Gabi Gundermann (14 points). Carly Richardson led Palmyra with 17 points, while Kaitlyn Carmo chipped in with 10.
Madison Rakow hit for 16 points to lead the Cedars, while Shaela Shellehamer drained four 3-pointers en route to 13 points.
Now 8-12 overall and 7-8 in Section One, the Falcons placed three scorers in double figures on their way to their highest point total of the season. Nichole Wagner led the way with 18 points, Alex Rich added 14, and Maria Battle chipped in with 11 for Jim Donmoyer's club.
Marcia Copenhaver led New Covenant with 16 points, and Erin Haggard added 13 points to the win.